creativity takes courage

Writing is hard work

Maintaining a personal website or daily blog is not an easy task. People always say: “just start”. I think starting is definitely important, but it’s the easy part. The tricky part few people talk about is how hard it is to maintain something going.

My second boss in life was (and still is) a fascinating woman called Marcia Zoladz. She was an editor for many years for a large content portal in Brazil called Universo Online (UOL). It is still the largest content portal in Brazil today, and she was really a pioneer in digital content at that time.

She started her career working in editorial in print and magazines and eventually, in the early 90’s, she made the transition to online portals. Her main area of expertise was culinary. Aside from her full time job as a content editor for the online portal, she constantly wrote and maintained a blog and brand about food and recipes (for decades and till this day). If you visit Cozinha da Marcia there’s a post already published today (Jan 3rd, 2022).

Back in 2007 I worked within her team as an intern web designer. Even back then she was already encouraging all of us in the team to start a blog. It didn’t matter if you were a content creator, a designer or a web developer. She wanted all of us to start a blog and feed it every day. Blogging was at its peak at the time and she wanted all of us to be part of it, just as she was with her culinary site. It was also a time when social media was starting to take over blogs, and it was important to her for all of us to be part of this “content creation movement”.

Looking back now, I really wish I had listened to her advice and did more with the blog we all started at the company, or even a personal one. She used to say: “A blog is like a small plant. You have to water it and feed it every day to make it grow. If you don’t do it, it will die really quickly”.

She said that fifteen years ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. That internal blog did die and disappeared in the ether of space and time on the web… which is a very fragile place, if you don’t constantly keep it alive.

Blogs do die and disappear really quickly if you don’t take real good care of them. My boss was totally right. It seems rather obvious these days with all the content that’s created all over the place, but I never really thought about it in the extent that she was thinking. She knew writing was hard work, and she was showing us that any good work required dedication.

I think she also knew more about it because she was doing it. The act of consistently producing content changes everything. There is a lot of value in the act of doing something in a consistent manner for a long period of time. That is true with anything in life, for good and for bad. But if you do something good consistently it seems to pay off and it usually compounds really quickly. Sometimes the payment is not monetary or financial. It could be just something pleasurable to do, and that’s all it should be – and that’s a good outcome too.

The hardest part of it all is how to maintain that consistency. I don’t think it is a problem of lack of time. It is creating the time for it, prioritizing as something important in life, and building a habit over time. I guess it’s never too late to learn from previous life lessons and do something meaningful about it.

You just have to start. But not just start.. You have to keep working on it.